Who are our children talking to online, asks ISPCC as it launches new campaign ahead of Safer Internet Day 2024.

ISPCC has developed a new ad campaign alerting parents to the dangers of online grooming in the run up to Safer Internet Day on February 6.

One thing we know for sure is that the online landscape is ever-changing, and that’s a scary prospect for even the most tech-savvy of parents.

We have released a range of helpful articles and videos on our Digital Ready Hub, and Parenting Hub to help equip parents with the tools to teach their children how to stay safe when they’re online while also encouraging them not to fear new technology. 

We are also delighted to bring you this FREE webinar series to coincide with Safer Internet Day 2024. These webinars aim to support families and their young people to be safe online. 

Register below:

  • ‘Don’t teach your kids to fear the online world, teach them to navigate It’ Parents webinar, Wednesday, February 7, 7pm to 8pm. Click here to register
  • “Don’t fear the online world, navigate it’ Parents and young people webinar, Thursday, February 8, 7pm to 7.30pm. Click here to register

Parents, face your fears, teach your children to be safe online with FREE webinars from ISPCC

January 22, 2024

New year, new you, new evolutions in the online world. One thing we know for sure is that the online landscape is ever-changing, and that’s a scary prospect for even the most tech-savvy of parents. 

But ISPCC can help equip you with the tools to teach your children how to stay safe when they’re online while also encouraging them not to fear new technology. 

ISPCC parenting lead Siobhan Harvey and Niamh Clarke, Manager of ISPCC Smart Moves programme, are hosting a one-hour webinar designed to help parents to learn more about online safety and to develop the key skills necessary to support their child. 

But it is also important to involve your child in learning how to safely navigate online. So the following day, ISPCC is hosting a second, 30-minute webinar aimed at children aged 12 years and over accompanied by a parent.

The aim of this series of webinars is to help parents and carers to recognise ways to interact with your child’s online world and day-to-day experiences and to allow young people to discuss their feelings in a safe space.

Our goal is to encourage parents to reflect on how you might support your child to navigate the online world, as well as implement digital boundaries. We will provide guidance on how parents and young people can deal with cyberbullying and upsetting content online and we will offer practical solutions and tips to help your child stay safe online.

ISPCC’s webinars will provide a non-judgemental place to ask questions, while also offering key take-aways in bite-size, easily digestible chunks. 

We at ISPCC know only too well the importance of staying safe online. Children and young people tell us their concerns through our 24/7 Childline listening service, through our therapeutic services and through our Shield Anti-Bullying programme. 

We understand that parents, carers and young people are concerned that our increasing reliance on digital technologies are exacerbating feelings of anxiety and depression among our youth, and we’re here to listen and to help.

Webinar details are:  

  • Parents webinar, Wednesday, February 7, 7pm to 8pm. Click here to register
  • Parents and young people webinar, Thursday, February 8, 7pm to 7.30pm. Click here to register

This Halloween, do the Conga Line for Childline!

Hey teachers, want to do something spectacularly spooky and scary this Halloween? Don’t worry, it’s all in a good cause and you can make a real difference to children and young people throughout Ireland while also channelling your inner monster, zombie or even werewolf…

This Halloween marks the very first Conga Line for Childline and everyone at school is invited: https://ispcc.enthuse.com/cf/halloween-conga-line-for-childline

Skeletons, witches and ghosts, you’re all very welcome to this Childline get-together – as long as you’ve got your dancing shoes on! It’s going to be a scream…

We’re asking teachers and students alike to dress up during any day in October, flaunt their fang-tastic outfits and then get ready to show off their moves. Each class will form a conga line through the school, spreading joy and awareness for Childline.

Together we can make a real difference for children and young people throughout Ireland.

Conga Line for Childline is the ISPCC’s latest school campaign. We want to bring children together to have fun, while making a big difference to the lives of others. Every student is invited to donate €4 as part of this fundraiser for Childline, a service that provides support for all children and young people, no matter what’s on their mind.

ISPCC needs to raise over 75% of its funding through donations each year to ensure we can be there to support children and young people 24-hours a day, 365 days of the year. We rely on the generosity of the public and are grateful for all support. We encourage children to reach out for any reason.

To participate in Conga Line for Childline, simply do the following:
• sign up your class or school by registering here and you will automatically receive your fundraising page
• choose a date in October. Childline will send you a digital information booklet and post balloons and posters to you for your event
• ask each student to donate €4 though your school’s fundraising page. This link can easily be sent to parents/guardians through email, shared on your school’s website/social media or WhatsApp as well as Aladdin and Unique
• Childline will provide your school with a virtual school talk and certificate upon completion of Conga Line for Childline
• Donations will automatically be sent to Childline from the fundraising page. These donations will support our 24/7 listening service

Ends
Notes to Editors: 
ISPCC spokespeople are available for comment or interview.
For more information, please contact: 
Rowena Walsh, ISPCC Media and Communications Coordinator 
Tel: 087 2997872 Email: [email protected]

About ISPCC
ISPCC is a charity dedicated to enhancing the lives of children and young people. The charity provides a suite of Childline services and supports for children and young people up to and including those aged 18 years old.  Childline’s 24-hour support line can be contacted for FREE, 365 days a year 24/7.  Children can chat online at childline.ie or call 1800 66 66 66. 
ISPCC provide services, supports and programmes for parents/carers and those working or volunteering in child and youth settings e.g., schools, clubs, crèches etc. 

The Childline guide to a healthier, happier summer

Summertime and the livin’ is easy… well, that’s the plan but, for many children and their parents, the thought of the long weeks of the holidays without the safety net of the school regime can be daunting.

At Childline, we know that children and young people can feel anxious during the summer. They miss their usual routine, their friends and, sometimes, the safety and structure of school.

Parents tell us they are worried about keeping their children entertained for such a long amount of time on a budget. They can be concerned about older siblings minding younger ones, children being lonely or being in potentially unsafe situations when they play outside or online.

Work through some scenarios, suggests ISPCC Clinical Lead Bree O’Neill, and that way both parents and children will be more prepared for whatever challenges the summer may bring.

It is a different dynamic over the summer and parents need to gear themselves up for that. Think of the family and consider what each person might need – the aim is to try to ensure everyone’s needs are met and everyone’s limits are accepted.

Don’t judge yourself, says Bree. Chances are your children will have more treats and screentime than usual, but it is the holidays and that is normal. However, she does recommend that parents try to stick to some form of routine over the summer. This helps provide structure for children and parents, many of whom are trying to juggle work and childcare.

Despite the long days, children still need their sleep. Yes, it’s good to have fun on holidays, says Bree, but it will be a nightmare trying to get children back on track three days before school starts. Instead, she recommends bringing bedtimes back about a fortnight before the return to school.

For those children who suffer from anxiety, the long summer holidays can exacerbate these feelings, says Bree. ISPCC and our volunteers on the Childline 24/7 listening service are always here to help.

Bree believes that the summer offers a very good opportunity to focus on mental and emotional health for both children and parents. The time away from the usual constraints of school, exams and activities offers children, young people and their parents an opportunity to take stock, breathe and put steps into place that help to bolster wellness.

ISPCC offers three free online Digital Mental Health programmes designed for teenagers experiencing anxiety and parents/carers of both teens and younger children. These early intervention programmes are fully supported by volunteers, take one hour a week and can be completed at the user’s leisure within a 12-week timeframe.

For more information on ISPCC’s Digital Mental Health programmes, go to https://www.ispcc.ie/guided-digital-programmes/